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Practical Money Matters Radio Series

July 9, 2012
Use Financial Windfalls Wisely

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What should you do with the next financial windfall that comes your way? Find out how to use unexpected income so it benefits you in the long-term.


Lottery jackpots aside, many of us experience a financial windfall from time to time, whether it's a tax refund, a bonus or an inheritance. Before going on a spending spree, weigh existing debts, upcoming expenses and future needs to make sure you apply the money where it's needed most.

For example:

  • Pay down a portion of outstanding debt on credit cards and loans.
  • Beef up your emergency fund so you can cover at least six months of living expenses.
  • Increase your 401(k) contribution, especially if there's an employer match.
  • Open a 529 college savings plan for your kids or grandkids.

Bottom line: Don't just waste your windfall on something frivolous – put it to work for your long-term benefit.

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